Erratic breath

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
Post Reply
wingsofwax
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:27 pm

Erratic breath

Post by wingsofwax » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:26 pm

I've been meditating daily for some months now but have developed some issues with my breathing during meditation.

I did some yoga exercises that caused some ribcage muscle pain (intercostal muscle pain), which caused breathing to be painful. This made my breathing during meditation erratic, since the body would try to avoid expanding the painful parts of the ribcage.

The pain has almost gone now, but I am left with a breath that is irregular. I went through a period where I couldn't help trying to control the breath instead of simply watching it, which is still an issue that needs work. I also still tend to focus too intensely on the breathing instead of simply being aware of it.

My plan is to let it be and simply let the breathing correct itself over time, but I wanted to hear if anyone else have had this problem, and if there are some tips that could help me. Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks.

R1111 = rightviewftw
Posts: 1019
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Erratic breath

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:29 pm

Try establishing mindfulness on the disliking of the erraticness and the worry.

User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 4390
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: Erratic breath

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:35 pm

wingsofwax wrote: I went through a period where I couldn't help trying to control the breath instead of simply watching it, which is still an issue that needs work. I also still tend to focus too intensely on the breathing instead of simply being aware of it.

My plan is to let it be and simply let the breathing correct itself over time, but I wanted to hear if anyone else have had this problem, and if there are some tips that could help me. Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks.
You might have been taught that controlling the breath is somehow wrong, and if that's the case then please follow the instructions of your teacher if you find them fruitful. However, I practice a kind of samatha meditation in which - in the initial stages at least - the length of the breath is consciously controlled. It works extremely well for me, so it might be an idea to look around for other techniques; or, at least, you might want to ask yourself why the conscious control of the breath is something to be avoided.

User avatar
DooDoot
Posts: 2927
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:06 pm

Re: Erratic breath

Post by DooDoot » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:54 am

wingsofwax wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:26 pm
I did some yoga exercises that caused some ribcage muscle pain (intercostal muscle pain), which caused breathing to be painful. This made my breathing during meditation erratic, since the body would try to avoid expanding the painful parts of the ribcage. The pain has almost gone now, but I am left with a breath that is irregular.
Yoga can distort/damage the body & thus the breathing. If your breathing remains irregular since this post of 5 months ago, I would recommend seeking out a skilled acupuncturist to repair any distortions.
wingsofwax wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:26 pm
I went through a period where I couldn't help trying to control the breath instead of simply watching it, which is still an issue that needs work. I also still tend to focus too intensely on the breathing instead of simply being aware of it.
There is no real need to deliberately focus on the breathing. If the mind remains still, soft & quiet, it will start to experience the breathing, without using any deliberate effort. In the scriptures, it is instructed to establish mindfulness (clear awareness) to the front (rather than deliberately focus on breathing).
Here a bhikkhu, gone to the forest or to the root of a tree or to an empty hut, sits down; having folded his legs crosswise, set his body erect, and established mindfulness in front of him. Ever mindful he breathes in, ever mindful he breathes out.

https://suttacentral.net/en/mn118

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: JamesTheGiant, liuyunchang, Yahoo [Bot] and 36 guests